Congratulations! 

I can only assume that congratulations are in order if you are reading this.  The journey that we have been on this season has been a blast, and I am very fortunate to have you riding shotgun!  The road ahead is definitely not for the faint of heart, but the finish line is within sight!

I once had been out with some friends and taking in some liquid courage, when a friend challenged me to a race.  Now, I have never been the fastest guy on Earth (I had the Molina-Esque speed), but had been exercising and felt a little spry…or it was the buckets of Captain Morgan that we had consumed.  Either way, I was feeling a little cocky and thought “what the hell”.

Fast forward about two seconds and I am lying face-down on the concrete with instant regret and unknown knee pain.  No, the need didn’t buckle under my tremendous speed, it was the after-effect of tripping over the speed bump directly in front of me.  Yes, loyal readers, the speed bump is a metaphor for preparation.  Don’t just start sprinting into this weeks’ matchup!  Look around, or below you, and determine the best route or angle to victory.

So without further ado, here are the tools needed to avoid those pesky speed bumps preventing victory!

Interleague Matchups:

Hou v Ari-Arizona will gain the DH

Det v Mil-Mil will gain the DH

7-game weeks: Minn (Double-header), NYY, TB, HOU, TEX, SD, SF

5-game week: Mil

 

Runs/SB

Andres Gimenez, 2B/SS/3B, CLE– 19% rostered in Yahoo-It might have taken the Indians’ SS a few months to get going, but he is finally starting to give fantasy managers the SB’s that they were hoping for.  Over the past month, despite not playing every day, he has 6 SB’s.  Gimenez hasn’t been caught stealing yet this season and travels to face the Yankees and Gary Sanchez, who has allowed 40 SB in only 94 games caught.  Has been hitting out of the 9th spot in the lineup, but recently has hit 2nd and leadoff.  If he can stay near the top, he could complement the SB with a few Runs.  Having the runs would finally be nice for a change.

Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, KCR-45% rostered in Yahoo- Lopez was mentioned a few weeks back and I think the situation is just as good this week as it was then. The speed is undeniable, and the Royals have not been hesitant to run wild on the basepaths.  This week, the Royals will face off against the A’s and the Mariners, who both are poor in stolen base prevention.  Sprinkle in the fact that he will contribute in Runs and Ave, and you have a true multi-category contributor for the final push.

Leody Taveras, OF, TEX-19% rostered in Yahoo- As with Lopez, he was mentioned in the same article.  Since of the best SB waiver wire pick-ups and hitting atop the Rangers’ lineup. Taveras will get the Astros and the White Sox, both very generous to base thieves!  Since his callup on 8/24, Taveras has 5 SB and has yet to be caught.

 

HR/RBI

Bobby Dalbec, 1B/3B, BOS-32% rostered in Yahoo- A tale of two halves for Dalbec.  Dalbec has been cruising the 2nd half, hitting.297 while nearly matching his 1st half totals in over 100 fewer ABs.  This week, Dalbec and the Sox will face a handful of lefties for Sea and Bal.  If we look even closer, over the past 14 days he has been out of this world!  7/6/17/.395

Alejandro Kirk, C, TOR-10% rostered in Yahoo- Very rare to find a C recommendation, which is kind of odd for such a streamable position. Here are the facts!  Grey wrote about Kirk’s lack of body dysmorphia and finally used the terms “body” and “wood” in the same sentence without being about Stanton.  If you get categorical wins for abdominal muscles or 6-packs, move along.  If you get W’s for HR and RBI, look no further than Kirk.  Over his past 7 games, he has gone 5/3/6/.500.  I don’t watch Star Trek, so insert your favorite line.

Brad Miller, 1B/2B/3B/OF, PHI-9% rostered in Yahoo- With Rhys Hoskins on the IL, Miller had been filling in at 1B, with the occasional rest from Realmuto against lefties.  This week tho, the Phils will get a steady dose of RHP until Sunday vs Rich Hill.  7/5/8/.311 over the past 14, and can play any position on the field.

 

Wins/Ratios

Nestor Cortes Jr, SP/RP, NYY-42% rostered in Yahoo- The elusive SP/RP eligibility at this stage of the season!  The Yankees may have been in a small skid lately but will look to right the ship against the Orioles and the Indians.  Cortes will get his 1st of 2 starts this week in a rematch against the Orioles who he had just shut down for 5 2/3 to go along with the 7k’s.  Since 7/28, Cortes has strung together 7 good starts resulting in 2-2/3.18/1.13 and 37k’s over 39.2 innings.

Jake Odorizzi, SP, HOU-42% rostered in Yahoo- Feels like every couple of weeks Odorizzi appears in this article, yet his roster % doesn’t seem to get above 50%.  That definitely will benefit us this week, as he is in line for 2-starts against the Rangers and the Diamondbacks!  Hasn’t gone 6 innings or more in over 2 months, but has the best 2-start matchup of nearly anyone this week.  His last 6 starts have been nothing short of solid (2.90 ERA/1.23 WHIP).

Eric Lauer, SP, MLW-27% rostered in Yahoo-   Quietly dominant over the season, with an even more impressive run over the last couple of starts.  Lauer will get to face the Tigers in a plus matchup on Tuesday.  On the season, Lauer has 96.1IP/3.18ERA/1.18WHIP/91kK’s.

 

Saves–There is no more time to speculate!

Dylan Floro, MIA– 26% rostered- Floro has the 9th and has actually the 3rd most saves (4) over the past 2 weeks.

Scott Barlow, KC-46% rostered- Barlow has seemingly stopped the carousel of closers in KC. It’s still Matheny, but maybe his carnival days are over?

Rowan Wick, CHC-19% rostered- 3 saves over the past 14.  He is finally over the intercostal injury which cost him the majority of the season and has the Cubs’ trust.

Kyle Finnegan, WSH-41% rostered- I know the Nats aren’t good, but he has had the role way too long to still be under 50%.